Chapter 355: Two Food Gods
Minhyuk followed Lucaro inside the kitchen as they both wore their cooking caps and chef’s uniforms.
“Tamer boy, I will tell you something.
The first thing that you need to take into account when cooking is hygiene.”
“I understand,” Minhyuk answered in the affirmative for now, despite being surprised that he was called a tamer.
Meanwhile, Lucaro had started boiling his pre-soaked red beans.
After letting the beans boil, he discarded the water and replaced it, before starting a new round of boiling.
His movements were very careful, precise, and accurate.
Minhyuk looked at Lucaro in awe.
He was just making some red bean paste, but he was completely showing the aura of a master craftsman.
There were no gaps or errors, despite not using any measuring instrument.
He was able to pour the exact amount of water and turn off the heat on time, even without using any timer.
Then, Lucaro started to mash the red beans with his remaining hand.
However, since he could only use his right hand, it proved to be a difficult task.
“Please let me do it.”
“Will you, please” Lucaro said, smiling lightly.
Then, Minhyuk began to mash the perfectly boiled red beans.
Lucaro’s smile never left his face as he looked at Minhyuk, while he started to make the dough of the bread for the red bean bread.
“They said that the territory will buy the dishes that had passed the preliminaries at twice the price.
They will also distribute the purchased bread for free to the citizens of the territory.”
Lucaro was very pleased to hear that they would distribute the bread for free and feed the hungry.
He was so happy that the smile never left his face as he did his best in cooking to pass the preliminaries.
Lucaro looked just like Minhyuk whenever he saw something delicious and wanted to eat it.
He looked completely delighted at the thought of other people being able to eat his bread.
Finely ground flour scattered like falling snow whenever Lucaro’s hands patted the dough.
He would also make sure to wipe the sweat that dripped down his forehead with a handkerchief so that it did not interfere with his work.
He was truly doing his best and giving it his all, even though he was only making red bean bread.
Lucaro was literally the figure of an outstanding master craftsman.
Minhyuk let out a gasp in awe after seeing him work.
‘How can he do that with just one hand…’
Then, the sweet red bean bread, made with mountain goat’s milk and perfectly boiled red beans, finally entered the oven and began to bake quickly.
Lucaro was smiling like a child as he monitored the bread inside the oven.
While Minhyuk continued to admire Lucaro, notifications suddenly rang in his head.
[You have witnessed how a True Master Craftsman Chef cooks.]
[Your understanding of cooking has increased dramatically.]
[You have gained 100 DEX.]
[The flavor of the dishes that you will make in the future will increase by 30%.]
Lucaro took out the red bean bread from the oven.
Steam rushed out from the bread the moment he tore it in two.
Minhyuk unknowingly gulped at the sight, wondering about the taste of the red bean paste inside the torn red bean bread.
After tearing the bread in half, Lucaro handed one half to Minhyuk.
This was freshly made bread! The only ones that could taste this flavor were the ones that made the bread themselves.
The warmth of the freshly baked bread spread out in Minhyuk’s mouth when he took a bite.
There was also the slightly hot red bean paste that teased his tongue in between bites.
A smile slowly curled up at the corners of his lips at the sweetness that enveloped his mouth when he rolled the bread in his mouth.
“It’s really delicious…!”
Try it with some mountain goat’s milk.”
Gulp, gulp, gulp—
Minhyuk quickly gulped the mountain goat’s milk, while he continued to chew on his red bean bread.
The red bean bread that he was chewing melted completely the moment the milk entered his mouth.
The feeling was so soft and light that he let out a satisfied sigh.
[You have eaten the Amazing Sweet Red Bean Bread that a Master Craftsman Chef had made with all his might.]
[Your hunger will disappear for a week and your vitality (VIT) will increase by 20%.]
[You have eaten a Sweet Red Bean Bread made by someone of a higher level than you.]
[You can now choose what kind of buff you want in your dish.]
Minhyuk was very shocked before turning to look at Lucaro.
“It’s definitely important to have excellent cooking skills, but more than that, I hope that the hungry people of the territory that will eat these sweet red bean bread will be happy.”
The reason why Minhyuk was shocked was because he could choose whatever buff he wanted to put in the dish which effectively brought him to a new level.
And this happened just because he ate Lucaro’s dish.
‘It’s only possible because I’m the Food God, right’
Minhyuk could tell that there would be no enlightenment with regards to cooking if ordinary people ate this bread.
Meanwhile, Lucaro packed his sweet red bean bread in a pretty packaging and headed to the Lord’s Castle.
Gourmet Dragon Banquet.
There were a total of eight judges that would judge the participants for the competition’s preliminaries and finals.
Seven of these eight judges were rumored to have excellent palates.
They were said to be culinary researchers on par with master craftsmen, actual master craftsman chefs, explorers of culinary ingredients, and eccentric gourmands.
The remaining one was both a chef and a contestant, Lord Anton.
As for the Gourmet Dragon Banquet’s preliminaries, the chefs that created the dishes submitted for their perusal would remain hidden.
This was to make sure that the judges judge the food, and not the person that cooked the dish.
Anton lifted the best dishes served in front of the seven gourmands.
Lord Anton looked at the four dishes presented in front of him.
“What’s the dish that you liked the most”
The seven gourmands answered Anton’s question without any hesitation.
They said, “The sweet red bean bread.”
Although this was just the preliminaries, there were a variety of colorful dishes served to these gourmands.
There was a crab meat soup that was made after hunting a kraken, a lollipop made from sugar that has been preserved for hundreds of years, and even pilaf made from beef.
These dishes were the epitome of splendor and delicacy itself.
However, it made Anton irritated to know that the dish considered to be the best was the most ordinary and insignificant sweet red bean bread.
Although Anton and the seven gourmands were all judges, they were different from each other.
The seven gourmands were people that Anton could not control!
‘What the hell happened to these people’s palates’
Anton thought that their amazing palates had gone to waste over the years.
After all, it was very uncharacteristic of them to say that the best dish was the red bean bread.
Anton laughed silently as he took a bite of the sweet red bean bread.
However, he was left speechless.
The texture of the bread was soft, a tell-tale sign of bread having the correct amount of flour in the dough.
There was also the sweet red bean paste inside the bread that was just moderately sweet.
Any sweeter than this and it would be too repulsive.
However, the red bean paste inside had the right amount of sweetness that it could make anyone feel good with just a bite.
“How is it It’s delicious, right”
“The chef used ordinary ingredients, but was able to produce the best dish.
It’s like we’re looking at the dish made by the Food God of the past.”
Anton, who unknowingly closed his eyes to savor the flavor of the dish, instantly opened his eyes at the sound of the gourmands’ discussion.
He also caught the slight hint of mountain goat’s milk towards the end.
‘W…who the hell was able to milk the mountain goat!!’
Anton did not show his shock and maintained his expressionless face.
“Do you think the head chef of Paradise Restaurant is the one that made this bread”
“We will know who made these dishes soon.
Just wait for a while.”
The gourmands continued to talk, while Anton tasted the dishes laid in front of him one after the other.
That was when he realized why the other judges deemed the sweet red bean bread as the most delicious dish.
‘Aside from their colorful and showy appearance, their taste is just so-so.
However, the bread is not showy or colorful.
It’s just plain delicious.’
Once the evaluation of all the dishes had been finished, the identities of the chefs were revealed.
Anton had also given the sweet red bean bread the highest score that he could give.
The soup made from kraken meat was made by Paradise Restaurant’s head chef.
The other outstanding dishes were also dishes created by the best chefs of Albero Territory.
And the sweet red bean bread…
Anton was horrified.
The sweet red bean bread was made by Lucaro, the previous Food God’s successor! He felt very flustered, as if his conscience had been stung.
“Lucaro’s hands shouldn’t have become like that.”
I don’t know who it was, but someone broke the hands of such a talented man as Lucaro.”
Then, one of the gourmands asked, “Who could have done something like this”
The gourmands were well-known figures in the entire world.
They were not citizens of Albero Territory in the first place.
Anton coughed to dispel the discomfort.
He wanted to deny their words, but what could he do He himself had given a high score to the bread that Lucaro had made.
The finals for the qualified contestants would be held tomorrow.
It was the day when the Gourmet Dragon would appear.
There were countless people gathered in front of the plaza for the announcement of the qualified contestants.
Lucaro and Minhyuk were also among these people.
Just like usual, there were plenty of people that criticized Lucaro.
“To work under such trash, get out of our territory!”
“Lucaro!!! You’re a disgrace to our territory!!!”
“Do you think losing one hand is not enough! Do you want me to rip apart your other limbs!”
These were the words that the corrupt and fallen chefs shouted at Lucaro.
However, Lucaro never lost his pride and dignity.
Then, someone shouted, “You will never be able to pass the preliminaries!!!”
However, Minhyuk snickered in between his words.
He thought, ‘Aren’t they just jealous of his talents’
They were spouting nonsense out of their jealousy.
They were just using the excuse of him serving the Food God to swear and curse at him.
They were cursing him out and swearing loudly because of their inferiority complex.
That was why they did not need to fight back.
Then, the official announcement of all qualified contestants was posted.
And the dish with the highest score as well as the chef that created the dish was…
Sweet Red Bean Bread.]
All of the chefs presents were shocked and horrified.
How could he do that when he only had one arm left What was more shocking was the fact that he only made the most ordinary dish, a sweet red bean bread.
However, something unexpected happened.
“The dishes of the contestants that passed the preliminaries will be distributed free of charge.
However, the sweet red bean bread will be excluded.”
Lucaro looked at the announcer in shock and confusion.
“H… how come!”
“The sweet red bean bread has the power to alleviate someone’s hunger for a week.
This power does not fit this place that’s hailed as the Chefs’ Territory.
If everyone feels full for a week, the sales of all of the restaurants will drop significantly.
This consideration had led to that decision.”
Lucaro was not able to savor the joy of passing the preliminaries.
All he wanted was to give out his bread to the hungry! Then, Lucaro thought, ‘Things will just continue to be like this.’
It did not matter if it was in the competition or not.
Perhaps, he would even suffer from a sudden raid tonight too.
Then, Minhyuk, who was standing next to him, said, “They won’t share the red bean bread that we made What does that mean”
“…What do you mean”
Lucaro’s face turned stiff as he turned to Minhyuk and said, “What do you mean by ‘we’ I made it”
Lucaro’s expression was cold as he said, “Don’t be mistaken, mister tamer.
I’m the one that prepared that dish, not ‘we’.”
Then, Lucaro continued to say, “I’m so disappointed in you! How can you be this shameless!! Get the hell out of this territory right now!! This is how you pay me back, huh!! You beggar!”
Minhyuk was speechless.
He could not say anything.
In the end, Lucaro’s spiel ended.
Albero Territory will disappear from the world, just as scheduled.’
Lucaro would die, and so would everybody else.
This was the end that Lucaro had guessed.
He knew that the Gourmet Dragon would not be satisfied.
And this ending would never change, unless someone stopped him.
At the very least, Lucaro wanted Minhyuk to get away from this place and save himself from the fate of this place.
“I won’t listen to you! Go away!!!” Lucaro said, his words filled with barb, but his chest was filled with sorrow and his eyes with grief.
That was when Minhyuk realized.
He thought, ‘Is this the trial Does it want me to save Lucaro and this territory’
There was also the Legendary Sun’s Wheat.
“Ptew! That’s so disgusting! So shameless!!!” Minhyuk said, pretending to spit.
He was clear that Lucaro was trying to push him away.
He chose to go along and put his mind at ease for now.
“I’ve worked with you for so long! At least tell me where the Legendary Sun’s Wheat is!”
“H…how did you know about the Legendary Sun’s Wheat…”
Lucaro was shocked.
How did Minhyuk know about the wheat that was only passed down in the legends However, instead of pondering deeply over the matter, he thought that it was best to tell him.
After all, the place where the Legendary Sun’s Wheat was located was further away from Albero Territory.
‘Minhyuk, you’re a traveler.
You shouldn’t stay here and die.
If you go there, then you will be able to live.’
So, Lucaro angrily said, “Go past that boulder and go to the place closest to the sun, that’s where you’ll find the Legendary Sun’s Wheat! Now that you know already, go away!!!”
At his words, Minhyuk turned around and left without looking back.
He disappeared within the crowd of people.
As he left, Minhyuk thought, ‘I’ll be right back, Mister Lucaro.’
Meanwhile, Lucaro thought, ‘Go, go further away and survive, boy.’
The two people with different thoughts separated ways.
And when the next morning came, the curtains for the ‘Gourmet Dragon Banquet’ had opened.